If a Sri Lankan citizen’s or dual-citizenship holder’s death occurs outside Sri Lanka; the death can be registered at a Sri Lanka Overseas Mission.
A death can be registered under the provisions of the Births and Deaths Registration Act (Chapter 110) and Section 7 of the Consular Functions Act No.4 of 1981 and the Consular Functions (Amendments) Act No.18 of 2006.
Applying for a Declaration of Death
Declaration of Death must be made by a close relative or friend or any other person who was with the deceased at the time of death.
- The Declaration of Death application (Form: Registration B 11) should be submitted within 3 months of such death to the relevant diplomatic mission.
- If the declaration of death is made after 3 months and within one year of the death; the reason for such a delay must be provided in writing to the diplomatic mission. Upon receipt of the written explanation for the delay in registering the death, the Consular Section of the Embassy can register the death.
- If the registration of a death is done after 1 year of the death, the applicant must get the consent of the Registrar General to proceed with the application.
The originals of the following documents must be provided. Note: English translations will not be accepted as originals. You must provide:
One fully completed Declaration of Death application (Form: Registration B 121). The application must:
- Be signed and dated
- Include answers for all required fields accurately.
- List the name of the deceased exactly as it is written in the passport.
The Death Certificate issued by the relevant authorities.
The Coroner’s Report issued by the relevant Authorities (if applicable).
Proof of Sri Lankan citizenship of the deceased:
The applicant must provide a minimum of two of the following items:
- Birth Certificate
- Citizenship Certificate
- Dual-Citizenship Certificate
- National ID card
- Sri Lanka Driver’s License
- Passport valid at the time of death
Identification of the declarant:
The applicant must provide a minimum of two of the following documents to prove the identity of the declarant:
- Birth Certificate
- National ID card
- Driver’s License
- Passport valid on the date of declaration.
Consular fees: Please consult the Fees and Methods of Payment page for details.
Processing Time: 10-15 business days
Obtaining certified copies and translations of Death Certificates:
Please provide a written request at the time of the death registration indicating how many additional certified copies and translations of the death certificate are required. Please note there is a fee per certified copy and translation. Please consult the Fees and Methods of Payment page for applicable fees.
Correction of errors on Death Certificates:
Corrections to a Certificate of Death can ONLY be done by the Registrar General’s (RG) office. Please visit the Registrar General’s Department website to download the required forms. The completed forms should be submitted to the RG’s office directly.
Landing of Human Remains in Sri Lanka:
A human corpse cannot be landed in Sri Lanka unless such corpse has been:
- embalmed and enclosed in a coffin of hardwood with a lid of zinc lining; or
- the corpse is packed in a coffin of hardwood with hermetically sealed lid or zinc lining with suitable disinfectants (such as chloride or line or zinc sulfate mixed with sawdust, filling the empty spaces within the coffin).
You must provide a written request to the Embassy asking for permission to transport/landing of human remains. After the review of request and required documentation, the Embassy will issue an “No Objection” certificate for landing of human remains.
The originals of the following documents must be provided. Note: English translations will not be accepted as originals.
You must provide:
- Original Death Certificate issued by the relevant authorities.
- Note: If a Sri Lankan citizen dies in a foreign country or vessel/aircraft; for landing of human remains, a Death Certificate from the Sri Lanka Embassy is not required. A Death Certificate issued by the relevant authorities in the foreign country where the death occurred is accepted.
- Also include a certified copy of the Death Certificate issued by the registering authority of the place where the death occurred, stating the date and cause of death.
Certificate from the Health Authority:
- A certificate from the health authority where the death occurred stating that the corpse has been embalmed or packed as required above.
- A separate certificate from the local health authority stating that the deceased did not die of a quarantinable disease.
- Measures to be followed regarding human remains repatriated from overseas during the pandemic of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- A certificate from the relevant authorities of the place where the death occurred stating that the removal of the corpse from the place of death has been sanctioned by the said authorities. -i.e.: Burial/Transit Permit
Certificate from Sri Lanka Embassy:
- A certificate from the Sri Lanka diplomatic mission or the British Consul of the place from which such corpse has been dispatched, stating that the coffin in which such corpse is encased contains only the body of the deceased.
- Where no Sri Lanka diplomatic representative or British Consul is stationed at such place, provide a certificate of proof to the satisfaction of the proper authority that the coffin in which such corpse is encased contains only the body of the deceased.
The Coroner’s Report issued by the relevant authorities, if the death was not due to natural causes (if applicable).
- Police Report issued by the local police, if the death was not due to natural causes (if applicable).
Passport of the deceased:
- Passport must be valid on the date of the death.
Processing time: 1-3 business days
When a death occurs on a vessel or aircraft:
- Where a vessel/aircraft arrives in Sri Lanka with the corpse of a person who has died during the voyage, or during the period that the vessel or aircraft remains in a port/airport in Sri Lanka; the master of the vessel/pilot shall,
- Inform the proper authority of such a death.
- Carry out all instructions given by the proper authority for the disposal of the body and for the cleansing and disinfection of the vessel or aircraft.
You must provide a written request to the Embassy informing of a death on a vessel or aircraft. After the review of request and required documentation, the Embassy will issue an “No Objection” certificate for the landing of human remains.
The documents required are the same as those for “Landing of Human Remains”. Please see above.
Processing time: 1-3 business days
Bringing human ashes to Sri Lanka:
- When bringing human ashes to Sri Lanka,
- Permission of the proper authorities should be obtained.
- Such permission shall be granted only if the ashes are sealed in a metal container which is air-tight and water-tight.
You must provide written request to Embassy specifying that human ashes will be transported to Sri Lanka in a metal container. This information will then be transmitted to Consular Division at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo for approval by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Airport Authorities. Once approval is received from the relevant authorities, the applicant will be informed accordingly by the Embassy. The Embassy will then issue an “No Objection” certificate for transportation of human ashes.
The documents required are the same as those for “Landing of Human Remains”.
Processing Time: 15 business days
Consular fees: Please consult the Fees and Methods of Payment page.
Returning of documents:
- Your original documents will be returned along with the Death Certificate by secure courier.
- Please note that pre-paid self-addressed envelopes and/or shipping labels are not accepted.
- Please consult the Fees and Methods of Payment page for more details.
- Please ensure you add the costs of “returning documents” to the consular service fee(s).
- The Embassy is not responsible for any document lost in the post.
- The submission of forged documents and making false declarations relating to citizenship is a punishable offence. In such circumstances, consular fees will not be refunded.
- Incomplete applications will be rejected.